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Remembered Today:

periscope house/farm, Pilckem Ridge


jay dubaya
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Roger, J.D, ...

Here we go. Have a good time. Stop when it hurts too much.

Two more pics tomorrow.

Aurel

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I have absolutely no idea in which direction we are looking in now, but that is a fantastic picture.

Roger

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Does the light railway give us any clues, there must be a RE map somewhere that has these marked on, the shadow from a building on the left would suggest we're now looking back towards Boesighe......

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I won't interfere ... these pics have made me scratch my head so much that I have lost too much of my hair ... :-(

One more to "enjo"y. (Later today another one.)

And let me add that my digital pics collection would not be what it is if I had not been enriched again and again by Boezingenaars Gilbert and Tine. These acquaintances have an impressive (paper) collection, and every time a new item is added, they give me the opportunity to scan or photograph. Gilbert and Tine do nor have a pc, and they will not read this, but : Thanks you so much, Gilbert and Tine.

Aurel

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...I'm taking it that the barrels are middle left in the last photo.....I'm squinting now.....it hurts and the beer's not helping ;) I have two photos and a map that may or may not help, but can't post until tomorrow.

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And I wonder if this may or may not help. Maybe it will ? For there is no beer in sight ! :-)

Don't ask what is on the sign visible near the right one of the two trees. It says : Pilkem. (I know that from a 4th ipc I have, very similar to this one.

By the way, something we also have to take into account when discussing pics : weren't they "mirrored" when the the print was made ? I am not 100 % sure about pic 1, 2 and 3, but I am sure about this one : the sign Pilkem, and the way the jackets of the soldiers are 'closed' : the way men do it.)

Aurel

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I'm now standing by the beer.....but no...the beer has all gone and so has pretty much every thing else.

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Trawling the net yesterday whilst on an epic journey I found the above picture, sadly there's not much there to compare with the earlier snaps nor does it help with direction, or does it? Just beyond the bearer party is a rectangular shape and just beyond that a mound, could the former be Periscope House? I've found the Trench Map Archive at McMaster very useful over the years and found the following map dated 20th July 1917, I don't apologise for the orientation...it's as it comes.

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There are 2 observation posts marked along the road to Langemark could the one to the right be Periscope House?

It was a long long train journey that took all the daylight hours and some...trawling continued as did the journey, eventually I find another picture which rules out the rectangular shape and the mound being Periscope House...and I didn't expect it to look like this...

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Both pictures were taken by Capt. Harry Morrey Salmon 16th Welch who were at Pilckem early August 1917 the 24th and 25th of the month being noted as quiet in the battalion war diary which may suggest when these photos were taken.

My eyes hurt, the buffet car has no hot water and its now hailing when i get off the train...and there's no power at home...and I really cant look at my phone screen for at least a week...but hey ho I've got Leffe on the door step. I'll have a better look at your photos on a larger screen over the weekend Aurel, there may be some clues to see yet ...you wanna beer?...

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I am still convinced that the original photos from Aurel are of the new Periscope House and it was to the north of the road.

Roger

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J.D.,

Many pics were taken of the area in August 1917, and believe me, trying to find out where exactly, often is 'hell'. The problem (?) is that in the past 100 years the landscape has changed so much here, compared to 1917. (Well, that's is not really a problem, is it.)

Interesting Periscope House photo. I had never seen it before.

I have now-photos taken from the Pilkem crossroads as it is now, looking in the four directions. If you want me to post them (or e-mail them to you) let me know.

Was the Leffe great comfort ? :-)

Aurel

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Great photos, Aurel!

And you and JD are like the new Holmes and Watson! ;0)

Bernard

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The Leffe was a great comfort as always it is...sadly it has unusual properties when squinting at photos for long periods of time ;)

Aurel, yes please to the 'now' photos from the crossroads...it'l save me getting irate with google street view. I have downloaded several pages from the 38th Division WDs and will have a trawl through them this afternoon in the hope that Periscope House gets a mention and hopefully we shall be a little wiser by the end of the day

Jon

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Bernard,

I feel like Watson I'm afraid. Especially as in that story .... One night; when Sherlock and Dr. Watson were camping, the former woke up, and asked Dr. Watson : When you see all these stars, what do you think ? And Dr. Watson went philosophical and said something about billions of stats ... infinity and eternity ... and the smallness of humans etc., until Sherlock interrupted him and said : "You fool ! Our tent was stolen !!!"

(Wasn't that joke the winner in some British Joke Competition some years ago ? What I mean is : when someone compares me to Dr. Watson, I feel like how the latter felt that moment... Like an idiot ! ;-)

J.D.

I hardly ever drink Leffe. I want something stronger.

As to the Pilkem crossroads ... Such a mystery. And I have just discovered something that I had not paid attention to before. The narrow gauge track. Yes, I had wondered before : is it left (north) side of the road or the other side ? But now I have just discovered - on the trench map at the beginning of this topic (Roger's) - that on the map the track does not go straight to Langemark (= east), but coming from Boezinge turns left to the railroad ! I really don't know what to think of it !

Aurel

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Now pics.

This one : standing with my back towards Langemark, looking direction Boezinge.

To the left : Pilkemseweg to Ypres, to the right = Bikschote.

Aurel

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One more

Standing with my back to Ypres.

In front of me : direction Bikschote

To the right = Langemark

To the left = Boezinge

Aurel

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Thanks for the latest pics Aurel. Ive had a look though a few WDs and the 61st Infantry Brigade appendages contain brigade orders dated 4th August 1917 which note the 114th Bde HQ at C 2d 1.9 whilst the 114th Bde diary notes that 'advanced HQ set up at Periscope House at 5.30 pm'. The coordinates put it right on the spot of the easterly observation post on the Langemark road... I feel confident I know the location of Periscope House......so back to the crossroads....do you have a higher res copy of the third B&W that you posted? And do you know the whereabouts of the shrine at Pilckem?

And we're sure that the 4th B&W is not a mirror image?

All the Leffe has gone and my eyes have regained normal vision, I'll be buying you a tipple should we ever meet, so on the meantime have a virtual one on me :)

Cheers, jon

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1. ....do you have a higher res copy of the third B&W that you posted?

2. And do you know the whereabouts of the shrine at Pilckem?

3. And we're sure that the 4th B&W is not a mirror image?

Jon,

1. Yes I have. 2491 x 1678 pixels, 791 kB. Let me know in a PM what your e-mail address is.

2. I'm not sure I understand. Is a shrine a chapel, or the Pilkem crucifix ? If the latter, do you want to know where it is now ? Nobody does. (The present one is not the old one. The old one was taken to Houthulst by the Germans, and hence .... ? No idea.)

3. Yes, I am sure. The soldiers wear their jackets the way I do. Left part on right part. And also because the of the sign with "Pilkem" (not readable on the photo I posted, but readable on this one. (Well, at least on the non-resized version).

Aurel

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That piece of track is nothing but a tease.... Yet another great image Aurel, PM sent, are they baskets to the right of frame...odd shape and the hoop on top...I'm intrigued,

Jon

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Jon,

I have been intrigued by the basket things too, but I have no idea ...

Something military ? (to transport ... shells, with a handy handle ? :-)

Something civilian that the Germans found in the local pub ?

But then, even before the war we put our beer in barrels and bottles, not in baskets, not even baskets with handles ... :-)

Aurel

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Nice find dai Bach, I think the baskets are more than likely for such purposes and the ones in the above images are much larger and single, I doubt our four legged friends could manage two of these with such contents

Jon

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Shell baskets ?

My (wild) guess was correct ?

This makes my day ! :-)

Yet, why can't I just be happy, without asking questions again...

Like : these on my Pilkem pic are British ?

Or : did German troops used them too ?

If British, then I can put a date (period) on the photo. It must be in or after August 1917.

Aurel

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